Thursday, March 25, 2010

My Kid Is Special

Oh, things keep getting weirder, sadder, more blatant, and even a bit funny, in a really warped sort of way.

I had my parent/teacher conference last Friday to discuss M and his 'progress.'

The whole team was there and you could tell that we were all a bit tense, wondering which way this thing was going to go. I was mad at myself toward the end when I realized I'd been doing this goofy, repetitive rubbing of my ring finger thing. I hate that people who are supposed to be helping my child can make me nervous like that.

Everyone kept it low-key. This wasn't an official IEP meeting. But I did take a very intended jab at M's teacher at the end when I asked her if I was correct in having seen some of the kids in his class bringing in things for show and tell recently. When she told me I had, I said, 'Weird. No one told M or I about that. Even though he can't talk about an item, per se, it sure would be a nice exercise in INCLUSION!'

In what I now can tell is a very put-on voice, she told me that 'of course, he can participate in show and tell!' Would we like to start on Monday? Any day is fine except Tuesdays! As though all parents need to do to have their kids included in classroom-wide activities is to just come out and ask!

This, of course, happened right after she informed me that next Thursday (today) was the county-wide Special Olympics basketball day in a town about 30 minutes from our own. She made sure to mention that though he attended last year and seemed to do fine, he might 'get more out of his day' if he stayed at the school with his new paraprofessionals because it's just so 'crazy and overstimulating' there. I told her 'fine,' because who wants their kid to go where he's clearly not wanted? I probably should have insisted that I go with him so that he could be INCLUDED, but I didn't think about that until after the fact.

Here's where I was able to laugh about even more blatant, sad, exclusion of my child...when I told the other half about it, he paused for a moment to process what I'd said and replied with, 'Wait a sec. So you're telling me that our kid is too special for Special Olympics?'


This was so bizarrely funny that I had to share it with my great friend, R, mother of M's best buddy back on the mother ship. We have shared some insanely funny stories in this vain with one another through the years. It's so good to have someone you can laugh about these things with, as completely effed up as they sometimes are. Her response was that I definitely need to get a t-shirt printed up with the saying, 'My child is too special for Special Olympics' on it. Poor Eunice Shriver is probably rolling in her grave over this one!

I just got home from picking M up from school and asked his aide how his day in exile went. She told me that he was pretty aggressive all day, but that maybe it was because they spent it in a new classroom...the typical 1st grade class. Now, I am all for inclusion, but let's not push the poor kid into an inclusive situation when he's pretty much just being set up to fail. For him, recess, music, art, etc. might work okay, but not for the full, academic day. So instead of M being with a huge group of special needs kids where he wouldn't have been weird, annoying or disruptive if he'd been aggressive or overly vocal, we have instead allowed him to 'get more out of his day' by putting him in a class with a bunch of typical kids who have a much easier time of focusing and remaining quiet. Gee, I wonder what they all thought when he lashed out at his aides during the day? I'm guessing they thought a lot more about it than his buddies at Special Olympics would have, and that pisses me off royally.

I left a message with the special education director for a face to face meeting. I'm so sick of this crap and realize that even with excellent new aides from a reputable outside agency, M is NEVER going to make any progress as long as he is in such a hateful environment.


Kim said...

I'm so sorry this happened to you--how frustrating and completely WRONG. I felt so sad reading this. I'm glad you called a face to face meeting. Something needs to be said--say it!

Valerie Foley said...

Go get 'em (again) Deb. That's insulting and insane and embarrassing and just plain dumb.

To say M deserves better is so simplistic that I can't believe someone in his school isn't saying it.

This shouldn't be happening. On any level.

little miss mel said...

Man, just hearing about this Erks me to NO END. I can't imagine how bent out of shape you must feel.

Gah, people! Logic needs to be played here and I don't see any of it.

You tell 'em Deb.

Nicole English said...

I just love reading your blogs. My friend Valerie (Billysmum) here in Sydney put me onto it. Sometimes it feels as though you are channelling my life as well as my attitude lol.

Mama Deb said...

Thanks for your comment, Nicole! Glad you are here. I'm pretty sure Valerie and I would get along swimmingly in person, so any friend of hers is a friend of mine :)

Wait...did I just say 'swimmingly?'